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Monday, October 1, 2012

Ghost Writer by Vala Kaye

Ghost Writer by Vala Kaye
Published by: MuseItUp
Genre: contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Age Recommendation 14+
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Snapdragon

Sixteen-year-old Malden Montgomery leaves New York City anticipating nothing but boredom when her artist/mother insists she come along on a two week vacation to a family inn in rural Virginia. What Malden doesn't expect is that the owner’s seventeen-year-old son, Jackson, will be totally to-die-for cute or that her room at the inn will be haunted by a young woman named Emily, who died there in 1865. When Emily somehow begins to communicate with Malden via an Internet chat room, she and Jackson have to find a way to help Emily's ghost come back home or risk a spirit’s wrath if they choose to leave her lost in the darkness forever.

The Young Adult and Paranormal genre these days can mean anything from mild magical abilities to foes like killer zombies, so I am pleased to report that the novella Ghost Writer is ultimately a believable teen tale.

Malden is a typical (contemporary) teen, being dragged along on a typical mom’s type getaway to a backwoods location. She has no expectations of anything worthy of interest, and less hope of meeting anyone worth meeting. Exactly how bad it will be is brought home when her mom assures her it’ll be like a ‘living history lesson: Civil War era.”

So Jackson, the “To-Die-For bellhop” is a very pleasant surprise, although of course one positive thing isn’t going to change Malden Montgomery’s outlook.

No, it’s Emily – who she is warned about – and Emily’s plea for help that changes Malden’s outlook.

Scenes are set so perfectly; the creepy feeling room, approaching storm and the flickering-lamp type classic ghost references, are offered right alongside more serious analysis (are people truly energy?) I want to call this a ghost story, but it’s the sort that gives you pause. If ghosts could exist…

Believable conversations (and concerns!) keep this story moving right along. Malden has the typical teen electronic attachments, e-chats and whatnot, but that ability to connect at a distance will serve her in a surprising way.

Ghost Writer is an unpredictable story with a nice little mystery wrapped around a sense of empathy – a sense that will try to stretch across centuries. I’d have to call this novella the perfect Halloween present: A real indulgence with no calories!

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